Simon Frisch is a New York-based American-Breton composer. Recently recipient of the 2017 Brian M. Israel Prize for his string quartet provost, which was cited for its “beauty and craft,” his work has work has been noted for “swimming in history,” (Thing of Wonder) channeling ancient influences and stories into contemporary expression. Upcoming performances include a centenary commission for Daniel Hyde and the Saint Thomas Church Choir, Fifth Avenue (O God, my heart is ready); new solo works in his solo-instrument marginalia series; and the U.S. premiere of provost by the Society for New Music. Currently, he is setting texts by MacAuthur "genius" poet and scholar Anne Carson on commission for the New York Virtuoso Singers.
Recent performances include the New York, Latvian, and Portuguese recital premieres and radio broadcast of marginalia ii for pianist Robert Fleitz; the 2016 semi-theatrical The Body Untied for soloists and baroque chamber orchestra at venues around New York City, presented by Amanda+James, BZH NY and Région Bretagne, lightbox, and others, in collaboration with video artist Rachel Libeskind; a lecture-performance of marginalia with violinist Rebecca Anderson (of Ensemble Connect) as featured guests of Thing of Wonder; and the “lovely and delicate” (NY Classical Review) Sandglass Vespers at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, commissioned by Joel Sachs and the New Juilliard Ensemble.
Other collaborators of note include Orli Shaham and the St. Louis Symphony in prepared-piano projects at the Pulitzer Foundation (later performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music), as well as soprano Renée Fleming in adapting a cycle of Patricia Barber songs for their Higher program that “shattered musical boundaries” (Chicago Tribune), heard first in Harris Theater of Chicago, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and National Sawdust in New York, and later across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in recital.
A wide-ranging advocate of new music and cultural dialogue, Simon is a founder of Festival Daniou, a summer chamber music residency and concert series joining young musicians, composers, and communities between the United States and coastal Brittany in northwest France. Since launching in 2014, the Festival has emphasized young American composers’ work and explored centuries of rare repertoire in partnership with local non-profits and government, praised widely for its fresh programming in Ouest France, France 3, France Morning, Le Telegramme, and Bretagne Actuelle, among others.
In addition to profiles in Bretagne Actuelle, Choir & Organ Magazine, and the Bayreuth Almanach, Simon has presented on his music and non-profit work at Columbia University and The Juilliard School. He is composition faculty at the Music Advancement Program at Juilliard. He was recipient of the 2012 Morton Gould Young Composers Award from ASCAP. He holds MM and BM degrees from Juilliard, where he studied with Robert Beaser and Samuel Adler, and maintains a private studio.